By Erica Bray
I love the 'Saturday Night Live' spoof commercials. From "Bass-O-Matic" to "Damn It, My Mom is On Facebook" to "Taco Town," they always inspire laughs. More often than not, they also tackle modern-day topics that leave me acknowledging this: "Wow, SNL is highlighting something about our culture that is actually kind of f*&^ed up."
One of my favorites is "Clown Penis Dot Fart."
This SNL gem, which first aired in 1999, features a fictitious investment company stuck with a ridiculous name because it waited too long to get onto the Internet.
So how does www.clownpenis.fart articulate the mission for the fictional company Dillon/Edwards Investments?
Um, it doesn't. That's part of the humor.
With this spoof, SNL actually tapped into something quite serious. As more and more companies are launching websites, the best domain names have already been taken. This has forced some companies into a scramble for a consolation website address only to wind up sounding ridiculous.
What's interesting about this spoof, however, is the use of the domain extension 'dot-fart' -- and not just for the comedic value. SNL, realizing it or not in 1999, tapped into a transformation that is taking place on the Internet right now.
And SNL did it more than a decade ago.
There are now hundreds of new choices available beyond usual suspects 'dot-com' (.com) and 'dot-net' (.net). Yes, hundreds. In fact, by 2016, there will be more than 1,300 choices for people looking to create a domain name that is meaningful, memorable and available.
While 'dot-fart' isn't a legitimate domain option -- sorry, fraternity-minded Internet users -- options such as 'dot-agency' (.agency), 'dot-legal' (.legal) and 'dot-media' (.media) are.
Click here for a menu of new domain extensions.
These new options alleviate the Internet inventory stranglehold experienced by companies searching for the perfect website address only to find it's already been taken or being held hostage for millions of dollars.
You now can create a website URL that is memorable, meaningful -- and available.
For instance, if Dillon/Edwards Investments were a real business today, they could be:
All much better than www.clownpenis.fart, no? Or at least ... more professional?
Buried beneath the humor, SNL was ahead of its time in thinking about alternatives to 'dot-com,' even if the current choices aren't as giggle-inducing as 'dot-fart.'